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Construction begins at 30th Street, Colorado Avenue intersection

18-month projects will bring underpasses and safety improvements

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Construction began Monday on an 18-month project that will bring two bicycle and pedestrian underpasses and new safety features to the 30th Street and Colorado Avenue intersection.

According to a news release from the city, the project will improve connections to existing sidewalks, bike lanes and multi-use paths. It also will reconstruct or relocate existing transit stops and install underpass lighting, landscaping, art and other design features.

Once complete, it will be the first fully protected intersection in Boulder because it separates turning bicycles and cars and features “corner refuge islands” to slow turning vehicles and improve safety to pedestrians and cyclists.

This is particularly important because it’s one of the busiest intersections in Boulder and one that a 2016 Vision Zero report identified as one of the top collision locations within the city’s street network. There were 86 collisions there between 2012 and 2016 and 18 involved a cyclist.

The 30th and Colorado Avenue intersection connects the University of Colorado Boulder’s main and east campuses, so the project is a partnership between the city and the university.

“We’re excited to partner with CU on this important project that will improve safety for all users at one of the busiest intersections in the city,” Erika Vandenbrande, director of Boulder’s transportation and mobility department, said in a news release. “The new underpasses and protected intersection improvements will enhance multimodal access and help our community make progress toward our Vision Zero goal of eliminating all fatalities and serious injuries caused by traffic crashes.”

The project costs almost $16 million, $4.75 million of which came from federal Transportation Improvements Program funds, which are approved by the Denver Regional Council of Governments and administered by the Colorado Department of Transportation. CU Boulder contributed $2.4 million and a land donation valued at $800,000, and the city covered the remainder of the cost.

Those using the intersection can expect delays until the project is complete some time in fall 2022. According to a news release from the city, traffic impacts will vary depending on the phase on the project. Typically, each side of the street will be reduced to one lane, and left-turning lanes will remain open.

Information about traffic impacts is available at BoulderConeZones.Net. To learn more about the project, visit bit.ly/3b7O7ns.